(DUBAI) Qatar, the world's biggest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has announced a 20 billion riyal (S$7.9 billion) development project to rejuvenate 35 hectares of the capital's downtown, the project developer said on Sunday.
The five-phase Heart of Doha project, scheduled for completion in 2016, will include 226 buildings and more than 12 hectares of open space, Dohaland, a subsidiary of the Qatar Foundation, said in a press release. A national archive, a 500-700 person auditorium, three hotels and a primary school will be constructed, Dohaland said.
Allies and Morrison of the UK and US-based Burns & McDonnell have been hired to do design work for the project, said Chatura Poojari-Abbasi, a communications manager for Haggie Hepburn, which represents Dohaland.
Qatar, which has a per capita GDP of US$101,000, has used revenue from oil and LNG exports to turn the country's capital into a cultural centre.
IM Pei designed the Museum of Islamic Art, a white-stone building on an artificial island. The government backed Education City, a campus with branches of six US universities, including Cornell University's medical school and George- town University's foreign service programme.
The first phase of the Heart of Doha project is scheduled for completion in 2012, Mr Poojari-Abbasi said. -- Bloomberg